Press release date: Wed May 30th, 2012
PORTLAND – the Historic Preservation League of Oregon (HPLO) announced its list of Oregon’s Most Endangered Places at a benefit luncheon in Portland on May 22. Each property represents a significant historic resource in imminent danger of being lost to hard times, development pressures, demolition, or neglect.
Helping to announce Oregon’s Most Endangered Places was Congressman Earl Blumenauer who spoke on the economic benefits of preservation and its ability to generate significant numbers of local jobs.
Properties on the Most Endangered Places list represent a cross-section of historic properties ranging from a relic of Oregon’s early salmon fishing industry to a 1920s amusement ride, from an elegant inn to a humble farmstead outbuilding, and from a one-room storehouse to an entire Landmark district. Each is irreplaceable.
Included on the list were three Portland metro places:
• Jantzen Beach Carousel, Portland – listed because, though the developer of the new Jantzen Beach Center claims they plan to keep the carousel, the approved site plans for the center do not include the carousel. This 1920’s fixture of Hayden Island is the last vestige of the Jantzen Beach Amusement Park and one of the largest ever built by the CW Parker Company.
• Skidmore/Old Town District, Portland – built between 1857-1929 and listed in response to the political gridlock stalling economic investment and historic rehabilitation. One of only two urban districts in Oregon designated as a National Historic Landmark (the highest level of historic designation), surface parking lots cover 29% of Old Town, accentuating a sense of blight. Perceived safety issues, demolition-by-neglect, the high cost of seismic retrofitting, an off-putting design review process, and assertions that infill development can’t pencil without blowing through current height limits, add up to a serious threat to district integrity and vitality.
• Willamette Falls Locks, West Linn – listed in response to the Army Corps of Engineers closure of the historic locks due to safety concerns and no funding for repair, the Willamette has been cut off to commerce and recreation. (the National Trust for Historic Preservation has designated the locks, built in 1873, as a “National Treasure,” and will be leading a field support team).
The complete list of endangered places includes:
• Ice House, Eagle Point
• Uppertown Net Loft, Astoria
• Rivoli Theater, Pendleton
• Rosemont Farm Smokehouse, Yamhill
• St. Francis Hotel, Albany
• Viewpoint Inn, Corbett
“Our goal in publicizing Oregon’s Most Endangered Places is to spotlight the value of these places as cultural and economic assets,” says Executive Director, Peggy Moretti. “Over the course of the next year we’ll bring together rehabilitation expertise, resources, and local support to revitalize these properties. We want to see them function as contributing assets in their communities and passed forward to future generations.”
Selected from nominations submitted by citizens from around the state, properties on Oregon’s Most Endangered Places list will receive assistance from the HPLO to address immediate threats and develop strategies for long term viability. They will also be able to apply for an HPLO seed grant to kick-start rehabilitation efforts.
A profile of each endangered place will be featured on the HPLO website where readers can track their progress throughout the year. Visit www.HistoricPreservationLeague.org.
About the HPLO:
The mission of the Historic Preservation League of Oregon is to Preserve, Reuse, and Pass Forward Oregon’s Historic Resources to Ensure Livable, Sustainable Communities. A 501(c)(3)non-profit founded in 1977, the HPLO provides educational programs, advocacy, and holds over 40 historic conservation easements on properties across the state, protecting them from demolition in perpetuity.
Organizational goals include:
• Preserve and pass forward historic sites, properties and districts.
• Ensure sufficient economic incentives for historic preservation.
• Promote appropriate land use policies, development guidelines and preservation standards.
• Increase awareness of the economic value of preservation and its essential role in sustainability.
Operating statewide, the HPLO office is located in the historic White Stag Block, 24 NW First Avenue, Portland, OR 97209. 503 243-1923 www.HistoricPreservationLeague.org.